What You Need to Know About Buying Used Ski Gear

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Many people consider skiing as an expensive sport, but it doesn’t have to be. If you know how to buy used ski gear, you could save a lot of money.

Of course, as with everything you buy used, there are things you should keep in mind before buying used ski equipment.

used ski equipment

If you’re new to buying second-hand items, don’t fret. We’ll give you the low-down here.

General Tips for Buying Used Ski Equipment

Know the Previous Owner

When buying used, it’s always a good idea to directly contact the previous owner. Asking the owner about any questions you may have will be a more reliable approach.

There is also less chance of them giving you a dishonest opinion, instead of when buying from consignment shops that may only be after a profit.

On that note, it’s important to ask questions to gauge if the offer is good or not. One of the most important questions is how the gear is used and where.

If the previous owner skis as a serious sport, you may want to consider how much wear and tear the gear has already been subjected to. Skis that have been used on and off trails wouldn’t have a lot of mileage left and are better to pass up.

Compare these to skis which came from a resort. These skis are probably used rarely and wouldn’t have any alterations.

Check for Alterations

If you’re buying your skis from seasoned skiers, chances are there are also alterations and customizations that have been done to the gear.

For this reason, it isn’t a good idea to buy gear from serious skiers, especially used skis or used ski boots. These may be too much of a hassle to return to its original state or to customize to fit you.

When checking for alterations, it’s always a good idea to be familiar with the brand of gear you’re buying. Keep in mind what the originals are; if you’re not familiar, then be sure to do your research. It never hurts to bring pictures with you when looking at the gear.

Another good way to differentiate alterations from originals is to bring someone with you who is more familiar with ski gear. As a bonus, this person can also help you decide if a deal is worthwhile or not.

used ski equipment

Buy Early

Even with used gear, prices will always increase the closer they are to the season they are needed. That’s why it’s a great idea to buy gear, used or new, off-season.

Don’t wait for winter to buy used skis, as this will provide you with fewer options to choose from and higher prices to deal with.

The best time to buy used ski equipment is during spring when people realize they have extra boots lying around.

There will also be people looking to sell or trade their old equipment to upgrade them, and these can be some of the best deals you find.

Buying Specific Used Ski Gear


When buying second-hand jackets, it’s wise to check its waterproofing. Sure, ski jackets are waterproof by default, but its effectiveness may wear out over time.

To check if the jacket is still top-notch, just pour a bit of water over the fabric. If the fabric absorbs the water, perhaps it’s best to move on to a different jacket.

If you really don’t want to pass up on the jacket, though, there are companies that can waterproof the material for you. Keep in mind, however, that you may be spending more money this way.

Also, remember to check for stains, as well as loose stitches and broken zippers. Stains are generally a sign that the previous owner wasn’t careful with their gear, and unless the stain is small and your jacket is in mint condition otherwise, it’s better to pass up.

Conversely, broken zippers are very easy to fix. Loose stitches are also an easy fix. Just make sure that the whole thing isn’t unraveling to save yourself some trouble.

used ski boots


Boots are also a great piece of equipment to buy used since you don’t have to break in used ski boots.

Just make sure that the boots aren’t too broken in; it would be hard to fit your foot in a mold of someone else’s.  Also, make sure that the fit isn’t too snug to avoid injuries.


Unlike boots and jackets, it’s almost never a good idea to buy used helmets. Helmets need to be changed every three to five years, or after a crash.

Helmets that need replacing don’t always show signs of damage, and it’s always a gamble when buying them used.


Skis are a bit trickier to buy second-hand. When looking at used skis, remember to check the base, edge, and topsheet.

Make sure that the base doesn’t have deep gouges and core shots. Even if it has been filled, it’s best to pass up on them, as they may not have been well repaired.

Again, knowing the previous owner is a great way to gauge the wear of skis.

Here’s a video showing more tips on buying used ski equipment.

Do you have any tips for buying used ski equipment?


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